Later tonight, the Pirates will take on the Diamondbacks. Pittsburgh is unlikely to start Pedro Alvarez because Joe Saunders is scheduled to take the mound for Arizona. Alvarez as a platoon player isn’t what the Pirates envisioned for him back on Draft Day 2008, but the reality is more grim. There are slow starts, and then there are 1-for-19 with 12 strikeout starts. Why is Alvarez floundering? I went back and reviewed his at-bats while taking some notes.
First at-bat, facing Roy Halladay: Alvarez takes two breaking pitches outside of the zone before fouling off a 2-0 fastball inside. He takes a fastball away that looks to be outside, but gets called a strike anyhow. After taking another pitch for a ball then fouling a breaker off, Alvarez hits a ball solidly to center field, though the play itself is routine for the center fielder. Result: Seven-pitch flyout.
Second at-bat, facing Halladay: Halladay feeds Alvarez a fastball diet early on, tossing him four side (th...